1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I worked at a small local co-op, so not many people worked here. I was tasked with working on maintaining stock supplies - Essentially keeping stock clear for customers to purchase products, as items such as milk and bread sold very quickly in the store I was at. It was therefore imperative to make sure that we had enough stock to supply demand, it generally stayed the same and did not fluctuate much.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Honestly speaking, with what I did, not many skills were learnt aside from management which I appreciate to this day, as i'm a lot more organised now at home and with work in general. The fact that I had to continually stock popular items gave me an idea into the fact that businesses have to monitor which items sell and what is in demand seasonally (for example ice creams)
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoyed it a lot, it was enjoyable and made me appreciate just how much work it is to work in a convenience store. It was fun and engaging, I lived close by so it was a small bike ride and I never felt tired of my job, which makes a change from other jobs.
4. How valued do you feel by Co-op?
It felt like a family unit as there were a small amount of us working, this was great as we were looked at individually so as a result I felt valued. This gave me good morale and encouraged me to work hard as there was nowhere for me to hide.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Very structured, there was a simple timetable to follow and we all shared roles equally, because of this communication was key which was good. Because we were a small team, there was no need for emailing but occasionally texting each other in-case of illness and I never had any issues with this.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Not a great deal, but that's because I did not request any support, you are asked initially and occasionally if there are any problems (if there are then they will gladly help) but otherwise I felt good where I was and this is a testament to how much I enjoyed the job.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Just small training at the beginning that helped me get on my way. If I needed support then I would ask for help, but otherwise I wasn't really told of any support schemes, however I believe there are some. The way things were set up made me feel like I did not need support so that's a bonus in my opinion.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Absolutely fine, I knew what to expect and had a nice amount saved at the end of it, which was great and because I biked it to work, I did not have to pay for any bus fares or petrol for example. The package was fair and I did not have to negotiate anything.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Not many opportunities to be honest, but I had a lot of disposable income (due to living at home) from working which gave me opportunities to pursue my hobbies such as PC building and sports with friends which I appreciated. I made my opportunities as a result of working this job and gave me a lot of gratification.
9. Would you recommend Co-op to a friend?
In a small shop, this gives you in-dependency and gives you an insight into what it is like to work without a manager directing you all the time. The workload is especially manageable too, so you won't feel overburdened with work and should be able to stay (relatively) stress free!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Co-op?
Get a feel for the shop that you may be working at, ask the workers there what it is like, they won't mind. See if it's worth you journeying there and make sure that you're happy with the salary you'll be receiving as you can't really change that, always be prompt and show your interest in a possible phone interview.
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